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Wednesday, 25 January 2017

A lifestyle of telling lies

We might have come across about people who tell lies and their life itself is a big lie. But how about some poor people who are compelled to tell lies for their livelihood? It's a lifestyle for them. Here's an interesting story on The Hindu on such a community in Telangana.

Bragging is a means of livelihood and medium of entertainment practised since ages by the Budige Jangalu community.

“Prime Minister Modi, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and actor Amitabh Bachan are all my classmates. I have hundreds of cars that run on air. If you want you take as many cars. The kings and queens around the world seek my advice and now I am on my way to London where the Queen is waiting eagerly to meet me. Now you give me money to proceed on my world tour...” thus goes the narration by a person popularly known as ‘Pittala Dora’ or ‘Tupaki Ramudu’.

Traditional entertainer
In good old days one could see a person dressed up like a typical colonial policeman sporting big pith hat and carrying a piece of wood carved in the shape of a gun.

As he enters the village, children troop behind cheering at him and wanting to listen to his bragging. Until the television made inroads in villages, it was ‘Tupaki Ramudu’ who entertained them.

Now the numbers of the tribe has come down and many of them have taken up other vocations.
Chennuri Ramalingam, dressed up as Tupaki Ramudu or Pittala Dora performing the traditional art form of bragging to entertain rural masses, going round in Kambhalapalli village in Mahabubabad district

Struggling in poverty
Chennuri Ramalingam who still ekes out a living going round the villages and showcasing his art form rued that public patronage had come down.

“Now the people of my caste are into all kinds of works. What is worse, many have been reduced to begging on the streets,” he lamented.

He said many of his contemporaries from his village, belonging to SC and ST communities, became officers in the Government, while he could not even dream of going to a school as they could not afford it.

No State benefits
“I have five children and I put them in schools. We are not being given caste certificates and so two children have dropped out of school as we are unable to pay the fees,” Ramalingam explained.

Since the Budige Jangalu community lead a nomadic life hopping from village to village seeking alms by exhibiting their talent, they are facing problems in obtaining caste, residence and income certificates. There is no officer willing to give them certificates.

“We are not even getting pension, neither old age nor artiste. All the 300 households of our caste in Dumpelligudem in Garla mandal are in a pathetic condition,” he said.

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